Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB: adding grains before heating water?
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default BIAB: adding grains before heating water?

Could I add my grains to the water in the kettle and then raise the mix to mash temps? Any advantages or disadvantages?
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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You'll find this to be very difficult. It will take constant stirring and measuring the temperature to keep from overshooting the temperature. Far better to use a calculator for strike water temperature and mix the grain it.

I've tried to gently add a little heat when my BIAB mash was cooling too much but I ended up with a sudden temperature rise rather than the nice slow one I expected.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:24 PM   #3
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I guess you could do it it. I wonder if having the grain at a lower temp than you actually plan to mash at for a while as the temp is rising would create a thinner beer.

Why are you considering this?
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:00 AM   #4
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I've been doing this since I started BIAB about 2 years ago. Beer turns out fine, but you do need to stir continuously as you approach your target temp or risk overshooting.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:19 AM   #5
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I usually add my grains at about 10c below mash temp and stir and heat until mash temp.

Don't need no stinking calculations
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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I think that some % of the complex carbohydrates would be washed from the grain at the lower temps before the temperature triggered the enzymes that break down these sugars to simple sugars that yeast are able to eat.

I don't know what that % would be, but to some extent, you'd lower your efficiency and produce a lower bodied beer.

I don't know the exact chemisty, just the higher level processes, but I do know that the difference between mashing at 148 and mashing at 156 is a good 5-10% in gravity points due to the same enzyme issues as above, so depending on how long you left your grain soaking in water while you were heating up to your mash temps, I think you'd be surprised how much you'd affect your efficiency, gravity, fermentables, and unfermentable complex sugars left over in your final beer.

I wouldn't mess with it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:00 PM   #7
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I would say just get slightly above the mash temp, add grains while still heating (temp will drop) and stirring, checking temps, and be prepared to cut the heat as soon as you reach the mash temp.

Or, you could just let Beersmith, etc. tell you what strike temp to reach, then add grains...like most people probably do.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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any advantages/disadvantages depend on what temp you're talking about starting at and how quickly you'll be ramping up.

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Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
I think that some % of the complex carbohydrates would be washed from the grain at the lower temps before the temperature triggered the enzymes that break down these sugars to simple sugars that yeast are able to eat.

but I do know that the difference between mashing at 148 and mashing at 156 is a good 5-10% in gravity points due to the same enzyme issues as above
neither of these things are correct.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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I only have about 8 brew days under my belt...5 extract kits and I think 3 partial mash now....the kit instructions (from a somewhat local store that builds their own kits) that I brewed today called for adding the grains in cold water and bring the temp up to 155-160. All my other partial mash kits I've gotten from Northern Brewer and their instructions call for getting your water to the proper temperature first. I'll see how this one turns out I guess. I just ramped it up slow this am. I'm looking at doing BIAB all grain next....trying to figure out if my 8 gal pot is big enough or not.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kjfarwell View Post
I only have about 8 brew days under my belt...5 extract kits and I think 3 partial mash now....the kit instructions (from a somewhat local store that builds their own kits) that I brewed today called for adding the grains in cold water and bring the temp up to 155-160. All my other partial mash kits I've gotten from Northern Brewer and their instructions call for getting your water to the proper temperature first. I'll see how this one turns out I guess. I just ramped it up slow this am. I'm looking at doing BIAB all grain next....trying to figure out if my 8 gal pot is big enough or not.
Big enough for what? I do 5 gallon batches (5.25 into the fermenter) in a 7.5 gallon turkey fryer. I can do a full volume no sparge with that if the grain bill isn't too big but the wort will be pretty close to the top. I prefer to use just a little less water and then add a sparge step at the end to make up the difference. It gives me a little more room to stir the grains in and picks up a few more gravity points as that sparge rinses out a few more sugars.
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